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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State opens the season ranked No. 6 in the USA Today/Amway Coaches Poll, which was announced Thursday. The Nittany Lions are ranked in the preseason coaches poll for the first time since the 2011 season and hold their highest preseason ranking since 1999 (3rd).
The Nittany Lions are coming off of an 11-3 season that included their fourth Big Ten Championship and first Rose Bowl appearance since 2009. Penn State ended the season in the seventh slot in the Associated Press and coaches polls. Head coach James Franklin was named the Sporting News National Coach of the Year for his efforts, while running back Saquon Barkley earned All-America honors.
The Nittany Lions return 45 lettermen and 18 starters from last year's Big Ten Championship squad, led by Barkley and All-Big Ten honorees Trace McSorley, Mike Gesicki, Jason Cabinda, Marcus Allen, Grant Haley and Tyler Davis.
The Nittany Lions' home schedule features a trio of non-conference games, including Pitt's first visit to Beaver Stadium since 1999. The Nittany Lions open the season against Akron (Sept. 2; noon) and face Pitt (Sept. 9; 3:30 p.m.) and Georgia State (Sept. 16) in a three-game homestand to start the year. In Big Ten play, Penn State welcomes Indiana (Sept. 30), Michigan (Oct. 21), Rutgers (Nov. 11; noon - Homecoming) and Nebraska (Nov. 18) to Happy Valley.
Single-game tickets for the 2017 Penn State football season presented by PSECU are available for five home games (Akron, Georgia State, Indian, Rutgers, Nebraska). For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing new 2017 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.PSUnrivaled.com , call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 9 a.m-4:30 p.m. More than 9,000 new season tickets have been sold and the season ticket allotment for 2017 has been exhausted.